How Many Women In The United States Breastfeed
Although most infants receive some breast milk, most are not exclusively breastfed or continue to breastfeed as long as recommended. Four out of 5 infants start out breastfeeding, but only 1 in 4 infants are still exclusively breastfed at 6 months. There are also major disparities, or differences among different groups, for breastfeeding. For example, black infants are 15% less likely to have ever been breastfed than white infants. These disparities are improving some.
Other Benefits Of Breastfeeding
Ideally, infants should be exclusively breastfed from birth until around six months old. They can continue to consume breast milk along with solid foods until they area year old or even older. This is important to the overall health of the baby and should be done whenever possible.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the child are fairly well known. Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk for asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, and gastrointestinal infections like diarrhea and vomiting.
What are less well known are the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers. Not only does it lower breast cancer risk, but breastfeeding also lowers the risk of ovarian cancer. Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
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Sticking it out with breastfeeding takes perseverance. And now theres new evidence to back your conviction that its your healthiest choice. You probably already know about breastfeeding advantages for your baby. But do you know that breastfeeding benefits you, too? Among its health perks, research shows that women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer. And, women who breastfeed the longest receive the greatest benefit.
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How Long Should You Breastfeed To Reduce Your Risk
We don’t yet have a conclusive answer to this, but research, like The Lancet study, has pointed to a trend that longer is better. Even if you supplement with formula, it appears that breastfeeding of any kind still reduces your risk. So don’t feel like it’s all-or-nothing if you’re struggling with supply issues.
Dr. Stuebe encourages the moms she sees in her practice to nurse for at least a year, or as long as both the mom and baby want toin order to receive the many benefits of breastfeeding. The AAP has the same recommendation.
Breastfeeding Helps Protect Your Child From Cancer
Breastfeeding not only reduces your chances for developing cancer, but also your childs. Evidence shows that it can help prevent your child from being overweight or obese later in life, Wohlford says. Being obese puts a person at risk for many cancers. This includes pancreatic, postmenopausal breast, endometrial, esophageal, rectal and kidney cancers.
Breastfeeding also helps strengthen your childs immune system. Your antibodies pass from your milk to your child. This helps lower your childs risks of ear infections, as well as respiratory and digestive system problems. Plus, research indicates the longer a child is breastfed, the lower his or her chances of developing allergies.
Seek a lactation consultant
Despite all the health perks, breastfeeding isnt easy. If youre considering it or having trouble, get help from a lactation consultant or a professional breastfeeding specialist. Most work in hospitals or health programs. You can ask the hospital where you plan to deliver to send a consultant to your room shortly after your baby is born. Your health care provider or childs pediatrician also can help you find one.
Need more help? Use these resources:
Take educational classes
If youre pregnant or plan to become pregnant, educate yourself before your baby arrives. Talk to your doctor about finding a class that will teach you breastfeeding techniques and tips. You also can ask for classes or counseling as a baby shower gift.
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What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer deaths in women. It is a disease that develops when abnormal cells in the breast begin to multiply and form a tumor. The form of the tumor can either be benign or malignant.
Where benign tumors grow slowly and do not spread to other parts of the body, on the contrary, malignant tumors are innately dangerous as they quickly spread beyond the original tumor to distant areas of the body.
The term Breast Cancer refers to a malignant tumor that is cancerous and develops from the uncontrolled growth of breast cells.
There are mainly two types of breast cancer:
Apart from these two types of breast cancers, there are several other subtypes of breast cancer, such as Tubular Carcinoma, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer. These cancers either incorporate characteristics of the abovementioned cancers or have unknown origins.
How Long Should Babies Be Breastfed To Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer
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Case And Control Subjects
Information on cancer status was available for a total of 12,116 women who carried a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Case subjects were women with a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. Control subjects were women who never had breast cancer and who were also carriers of a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. Potential subjects were excluded if they were nulliparous or if information on parity was missing , if they had been diagnosed with ovarian or other cancer , if information on breastfeeding was missing , if BRCA mutation status was missing or if other pertinent information was missing . After exclusions, there was a total of 5,879 eligible women, including 2,784 women with breast cancer and 3,095 women without breast cancer .
Breast Feeding Reduces Risk Of Breast Cancer Says Study
Breast feeding can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a study by Cancer Research UK. The increase in the disease in developed countries is due to women having fewer children and breast feeding for shorter periods of time, the study says.
The research is a detailed analysis of 47 published studies, with nearly 150 000 participants, from 30 countries.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the United Kingdom, with more than 39 000 cases a year. Nearly a third are fatal. The research shows that the risk is reduced by 7% for each baby a woman has and that for every 12 months she breast feeds she decreases the risk by a further 4.3%.
Currently in the United Kingdom 69% of mothers start off breast feeding, but more than half have stopped after four months. The study says that if women breast feed each child for six months longer, 1000 cases of breast cancer a year could be prevented.
Lead researcher Professor Valerie Beral, of Cancer Research UK’s epidemiology unit in Oxford, said, “The results of this study are a major step forward in our understanding of why breast cancer incidence is so high in developed countries. It’s long been known that breast cancer is common in situations where women have few children and breast feed for short periods. We’ve shown that these factors alone account for much of the high rates of breast cancer in these settings.”
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We Dug Through The Complicated Research To Help You Minimize Your Risk
Most women can rattle off a couple benefits of breastfeeding: Fewer colds and illnesses? Yep. A precious way to bond? Definitely.
But things get a little murkier when it comes to one, potentially life-saving reason to breastfeed: a reduced risk of breast cancer. While plenty of research has established a link, it’s surprisingly hard to get straight answers. We sorted through the studies to give you the scoop.
Medicines For Women At Higher Risk Of Breast Cancer
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends that medicines be offered to some high risk women to reduce the risk of breast cancer. These are:
- tamoxifen for 5 years if you are pre menopausal
- anastrozole for 5 years if you are post menopausal
- raloxifene or tamoxifen for 5 years if you are post menopausal and you cannot take anastrozole
Your specialist doctor might also talk to you about these medicines if you have a moderate risk of breast cancer. All these drugs have side effects and are not suitable for everyone. Speak to your doctor who can tell you whether these are suitable for you.
You do not need to take this medication if you have had surgery to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
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Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines
The Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines recommend babies are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, but then extended to 12 months and beyond, for as long as both the child and mother want to continue.
While exclusive breastfeeding is ideal, it is recognised that breastfeeding is not always easy. Any amount of breastmilk is beneficial to the infant and helps protect the mother.
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Breast Cancer
The most common symptoms and signs of breast cancer include:
- A change in the size or shape of the breast
- A lump, swelling or thickening in the breast area, with or without pain
- An inverted nipple
- Dimpling or puckering of breast skin
- Itching, scaly soreness or rashes on the nipple
- Red, scaly, darkened or swollen breast skin
- Dimpled or pitted breast skin that looks like an orange peel
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, specifically bloody discharge
- Swollen or enlarged lymph glands near the breast area, including around the collarbone or under the arm
However, keep in mind that these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you’ve got Breast Cancer. If you ever experience any of these signs or symptoms that are persistent, consult your doctor immediately.
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How Does Breastfeeding Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Now, let’s come to the main point how can breastfeeding help a woman keep breast cancer out of her future? Well, according to researchers, there are several prevalent theories about how breastfeeding helps prevent pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer:
Breastfeeding And Reduced Risk Of Breast Cancer
Reproductive risk factors associated with breast cancer risk include age of menarche, number of pregnancies, age at first birth, lifetime duration of breastfeeding, age at menopause, and use of menopausal hormone therapy however, research has found that these factors are differentially associated with each subtype.5 Breastfeeding is of particular interest for breast cancer prevention because it is a modifiable risk factor. Breastfeeding not only reduces breast cancer risk but also confers other health benefits to the mother including reduced risk for endometrial and ovarian cancers8 and reduced risk for chronic conditions that are also risk factors for cancer, such as hypertension and diabetes.9,10 Additionally, breastfeeding provides many benefits to the infant, including fewer episodes of diarrhea, ear infections, and lower respiratory infections and a lower risk of sudden infant death, diabetes, asthma, and childhood obesity.11
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Can A Breast Reduction Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Michel agrees that breast reduction should not be seen by itself as a method for reducing a womans risk of getting breast cancer. “Heres a procedure thats a big operation and going to reduce the risk by 28%,” he says. “But if you take a 50-year-old woman and put her on Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen is used to treat breast cancer. It is also used to reduce the chances of breast cancer in high-risk patients.
, you can reduce her risk of breast cancer by 50%.
How Does Breastfeeding Lower My Breast Cancer Risk
Here are three reasons researchers offer:
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Does Breastfeeding Really Reduce Your Risk Of Breast Cancer
Does breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer?
Yes, it does, though the specifics are hard to pinpoint. There are four studies worth noting.
A large-scale analysis of nearly 150,000 women published in The Lancet in 2002 found that for every 12 months of breastfeeding , the risk of breast cancer decreased by 4.3 percent, when compared to women who didnt breastfeed at all.
Then a 2009 study of more than 60,000 women published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women with a family history of breast cancer reduced their risk of getting the disease before menopause by nearly 60 percent if they breastfed.
A study published this year by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that women of African ancestry have an especially high risk of developing the aggressive and hard-to-treat forms of breast cancer called estrogen receptor-negative and triple-negativeand the risk actually goes up when a woman gives birthbut breastfeeding negates this risk.
There seems to be growing evidence that breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of the really aggressive kinds of breast cancer, says Alison Stuebe, M.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the lead author of the Archives of Internal Medicine study.
Why does breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer?
How long should you breastfeed to reduce your risk?
But if you cant breastfeed
Dont stress about it.
Does Breastfeeding Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
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I was recently talking to someone about breast cancer awareness month which is happening right now, and it came up that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. Okay, I have heard this but I never gave it much thought. We are always hearing about all the benefits of breastfeeding for our babies but I do not give much thought to the benefits for mom. I have explored it a little bit in the past and thought I would look into it again. This time specifically in relation to breast cancer risk.
Besides reducing your risk of breast cancer breastfeeding also benefits the mother by reducing the risk of postpartum depression, ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes.
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Why Does Exercise Decrease Breast Cancer Risk
Here are the ways exercise can improve your life: Youll lower your cancer risk. Regular exercise lowers the risk of breast cancer coming back, as well as reducing the risk of ever being diagnosed with breast cancer. Exercise also can lower your risk of cancers of the colon, lung, and uterus.
When Is Breastfeeding Week
We are going to talk about the connection between breastfeeding and cancer prevention in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, an annual celebration the first week of August that recognizes global action to support women in their efforts to breastfeed. This week celebrates breastfeeding as an investment in health.
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Aspirin And Anti Inflammatory Drugs
Research has shown that women who regularly take aspirin or other non steroidal anti inflammatory medicines have a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer. There are trials in progress that will give us more information in the future.
Remember that aspirin can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause bleeding. So you should talk to your own GP before starting to take it regularly.
You shouldn’t take these medicines if you have any history of stomach ulcers.